Market share for electric vans has doubled to figures well above the government’s proposed mandatory targets for electric van sales which come into play in 2024, prompting calls for much more ambitious targets to be set.

Transport researcher New AutoMotive is warning the government that if it does not raise its targets, the electric van market could suffer supply issues.

The latest Electric Van Count (EVC) New AutoMotive, published this week, has revealed that the UK electric van market share rose to 9% in October this year, compared to just 4% in the same month last year.

Total sales volume also increased from 1,092 sold in October 2021 to 1669 sold in the same month this year.

However the government’s proposed Zero Electric Vehicle (ZEV) Mandate targets, which will require manufacturers to sell a set percentage of EVs in the UK from 2024, do not reflect this surge in electric van adoption.

Under the proposals only 8% of all UK van sales will be required to be electric in 2024, rising to 11% in 2025, 14% in 2026 and gradually increasing each year to 43% in 2029 and 100% by 2035.

Ciara Cook, New AutoMotive research and policy officer, said: “October marks the third time this year that electric van sales have met or exceeded the proposed ZEV Mandate electric van targets of 8% in 2024.

“This is a clear sign to the government that these proposed targets are far below what is achievable for the electric van market, and it risks slowing down the growth the scheme seeks to incentivise. These targets must be raised.

“The electric van market cannot be allowed to become a victim of its success. Sales figures have doubled since October last year."

Cook called for the government to use the ZEV mandate to ensure sufficient supply and protect the electric van market from the supply issues that have plagued the electric car market.

She said: “With electric van sales still behind that of passenger vehicles, lessons learnt from the car market must inform the government's approach to encouraging the take-up of electric vans.

“The new transport secretary, the Right Honourable Mark Harper MP, can score an early win by more ambitious targets for the take-up of electric vans.

“This will help to ensure the UK cuts transport emissions and meets its net zero targets, as well as helping to support businesses in accessing the running cost savings electric vans offer.”